Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oh Hello.

We're still here.

Apologies for our absence, especially when this month started out so promising. It's certainly not been for lack of stories because there are plenty.

I was still hanging in there pretty well after we all got sick at the beginning of the month, but when we all got sick again before most of us had even recovered from the first round staying up late to post was about the last thing on my mind.

And of course, somewhere in there some serious birthday planning somehow managed to take place.

The party is on Saturday, but we've got some pretty fun things on order to celebrate the big day tomorrow – and at least one thing on order that I hope will turn out to be a fun thing (or at least something we can look back on and laugh about).

Since we're saving the party for the weekend, and since the boys have long since reached the point of needing a haircut, and since getting one's first haircut is rather a rite of passage kind of a thing it seemed fitting somehow to plan it for their birthday – so tomorrow morning we're off to the barber to say goodbye to Seth's mullet and see if something can't be done to tame Nate's wild mane.

Of course, between now and then there just might be a couple of new posts tomorrow morning – at say, 8:53 and 8:54 AM.

- L.

PS. Odds are good that the boys will barely be awake at their respective birth-times this year, much less fully dressed and at play like they were last year. I can't even say with any certainty which bed they might be found in these days. For all I know, tomorrow's pics might look an awful lot like the one I took this morning when we all woke up:

For the record, Nate found waking up next to Seth and Mommy especially amusing today, but plenty of giggles from both my boys preceded this shot.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Of Course, The Best Things In Life Are Often Free*

I need to start this post by saying that the important thing to remember is we eventually had fun.

Crankypants was the watchword one particular morning several weeks ago, following a night's sleep that ended several hours before our typical wake-up time. The usual toys and activities weren't cutting it, so I went in search of an unexpected (and hopefully pleasing) distraction.

I found two. They both looked like this:

Boxes are always a big hit around here, so I was feeling good about my offering.

It was all going so well for about 5 minutes and then disaster struck.

Disaster that came in the form of Nate tearing his box to pieces and wanting Mommy to "Fix It!". And of course, I could not. No one could have. There wasn't enough tape or glue in the world to fix that box.

The meltdown was epic. Seth after all still had a perfectly intact box he was happily playing with and Nate was left with a handful of shredded cardboard. Well, technically the shredded cardboard was in my hands at that point. Nate had already turned into a puddle on the floor. 

It was time to pull out the big guns, but I was at a loss. The butter boxes were my big guns after all. 

At least until I remembered the boxes that had arrived from Amazon only a few days earlier, still filled with books for Christmas.

I could barely empty them and get them into the nursery fast enough.

Big guns indeed! Those boxes kept everyone entertained and happy on and off not only that day, but for the next week and then some. 

And once again, if the pics aren't enough to do this scene justice, there's a video of all the hijinks here (meltdown not included). 

• • • • • • •

*The boxes came with purchase, so technically they were "free", but the contents were not. Free is sometimes relative, but had the boxes not made for such great entertainment they were otherwise headed for recycling. That still counts, right?

- L. 

PS. This was the first time my boys chose their own outfits for the day – which is what I naively thought this post was originally going to be about before everything went sideways – so it deserves a brief mention. I thought it was interesting that they wanted to wear the same thing – and were quite vocal about it too. At this point, I'm 100% sure that orange is their mutually favorite color. It's been more than a few weeks since these pics were taken, but since that time I've had to put the "unge" shirts on an as-yet-undetermined sabbatical in a secure location because I've grown tired of looking at them. Fortunately "out of sight, out of mind" is a real thing. For a couple of weeks there, this was the only outfit either of them wanted to wear. 

PPS. In case you are wondering about everyone's crazy hair, we had French Toast for breakfast that morning and there was some self-styling with the syrup going on. Syrup is a pretty impenetrable product as it turns out, so everyone looked like this until evening bath time. 

PPPS. The aforementioned Bath Toys™ are very much front and center in this post too. Really, if you don't already own a set, do yourself a favor and get some. They are the next best thing to "free" boxes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Possibly The Best $12.95 I Ever Spent

Of course I had no idea at the time how far my dollars would stretch or how loved and obsessed over a simple set of soft-foam ABCs and 123s would be or I would have been on it sooner.

The Bath Toys™ first made their debut on the blog here, but were already very much a bath-time staple at that point. Two months later we are still going strong, and just so you know, Bath Toys™ aren't just for baths anymore.

Requested first thing in the morning and loved until it's time for lights out – and by that I mean Seth's personal "lights out" since he's not content to go to sleep unless the container of bath toys is in his crib – they are an all day kind of toy.

Outside of the bath, they've made inadvertent appearances here and here, in similar fashion to the train toy decorations. Really, these simple foam shapes are out pretty much all day and there are definite threats of mutiny if I make any attempt to put them away.

For $12.95 I got my money's worth months ago.

The Bath Toys™ really are a pretty fun toy, especially in the bath since getting them wet makes them stick to pretty much any surface – like your tub or tiles for example. Of course, if you absolutely, positively MUST bring your Bath Toys™ back to the nursery post-bath when they are most certainly bound to still be at least a bit damp AND you also happen to have a pair of toddlers bent on finding new ways to have fun with said toys, then you pretty much end up with a scenario like this: 

In case the pictures aren't doing what just might be the BEST TOY EVER! justice, there is also a video here. I have no idea what the strange noise is that my boys are making almost the entire time, but it has something to do with the twin mind-meld* they often have. 

- L.

*The twin mind-meld? It's one of those "I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it" kind of things, but I'm definitely a convert now. And yep, there's a post about that coming soon.

PS. OP trivia: the pics and video were our Christmas Eve shenanigans before bed. Forget the milk and cookies everyone (Santa is stinkeroo anyway) – Bath Toys™ is where it's at!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas Leftovers

I was hoping to capture a little of the magic from last year, stealing a few kisses by the Christmas tree with my best guys. Nate was into it, but Seth was not.

Pretty sure I'm in mid-windup here but Nate was a little distracted.

That spot on ceiling always been there, mama?
Much better. Subject is engaged: 

Going in for the kill:

*smooch* *smooch* *smooch*
Mission accomplished!
• • • • • • •

To be honest, I'm pretty surprised any of the pics with Seth turned out since he was only in my arms for a quick minute. Oh sure, things look OK here: 

But he really wasn't having it – not at all.

I so over 'dis. You put me down right now please or things is gonna get ugly.
And so we moved on.

• • • • • • •

Nate, on the other hand, was all about having his picture taken that day and had a great time playing "slide" on Gamma Rita's knee:

Seth was suddenly (or perhaps still) preoccupied with getting as many ornaments off the tree as quickly as possible:

Or maybe he was just camera shy all of a sudden. 

And words can't say enough how much I really, really wish I'd had the camera in focus here because this shot really says it all: 

- L.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


A year ago I thought this was a fairly horrifying mess – one that would shock and amaze you. Of course, I look at that now and laugh myself silly.

Before I reveal our current state of debauchery, you should know that:
  • This particular mess took less than 40 minutes to create. Coincidentally, this was also the same amount of time it took to prepare dinner. 
  • Messes similar to this one occur several times a day and are cleaned up several times a day. 
  • Whether I am in the room or not typically has no real bearing on the amount of mess created. 
  • We pride ourselves on messy (and it shows). 
That said, this is what a mess in the nursery looks like lately: 

And as much of a seasoned pro as I am at this point, there are more times than not that I look at the carnage and ask myself, "where do I even start?". 

– L.

Just In Case

Just in case it sounded like my birthday was a total wash with sick babies and our big clinic adventure, it was not.

We still had cake:

Yummy Dufflet mocha cake. It was a big hit, even with sick babies who didn't have much of an appetite for their supper.

There were nice presents too – and hopefully there will be some fun lunches/dinners out with friends in the near future once we've all recovered.

Yes, I said "all" because unfortunately, Gamma Rita and I have not escaped this round of cooties unscathed as it turns out. We both knew all those kisses from Nate and Seth would be our downfall, but really who was going to say no to kisses from either of my guys?

Not me and apparently not Gamma Rita either. We made our beds and that's a good thing since we might just be laying in them for the next couple of days.

- L.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How I Spent My Birthday – The 2012 Edition

A few days ago Seth came down with a little cough. It was dry and fairly sporadic and he seemed healthy otherwise. As I always do when my boys are getting sick – and because I tend to be in denial about these sorts of things – I wondered at first if he had developed an allergy and debated whether to take him to the pedi straight away or wait and see. I went with the latter and 36 hours later, Nate had the same "allergy", at which point I came out of my denial and admitted we were probably dealing with germs.

The boys went to bed Monday night not sounding too bad and woke up Tuesday morning sounding rather dreadful. I called the pedi's office, but all I got was a recorded message saying the office was closed until January 4th.

Thanks to Gamma Rita, who braved the winter elements on what was easily the coldest day so far this year to scout out clinics in the area, we were able to get an appointment at a walk-in family practice (one that could accommodate a double-stroller – very important!) not too far away.

It turned out to be an unexpected adventure and despite missing out on a proper afternoon nap, I think Nate and Seth actually had a pretty good time. Of course, Gamma Rita insisted that this was in fact another perfectly ordinary day since taking your babies to see the doctor when they are sick is a perfectly ordinary thing to do.

She has a point there.

Here we are waiting for the doctor:

– Oh hi everyone. Is us. We is sick.
– Very sick everyone. Mommy look all worried and bring us to see doctor type person.
– Except we has to wait. Life is full of lots of waiting as it turn out.
– First we wait here on 'dis chair with lots of sick people coughing around us. 

– And then we wait here where we is the only sick people so we cough on each other instead, but that get old fast. Then I get an idea.
– I get same idea. 

– Is called "getting into stuff" idea.
– Try it next time doctor keep you waiting. Is great fun and really help to pass the time.
– Also, doctor love semi-ransacked office.
– Oh, yes. 'Dis was big hit!

Of course you never know who you might run into at the doctor's office. Nate unexpectedly met up with an old friend

– Well, hello there. I not expect see you here. You smaller than I remember, but I has been doing lots of growing. 'Dis not be to your advantage as it turn out.

– When no one looking I adjust your spine real good.
– *snap-crackle*

– Hi there bony man. Is nice to finally meet you. You has interesting hands that I can't stop looking at. Also, did you know your elbows bend 'dis way?
– *crackle-pop* 

*many feet scurrying* 

I'm not sure the skeleton will ever be *quite* the same again:

My head. It hurts.

Eventually, we moved the boys to higher ground in an attempt to distract/corral them.

It looked a little shaky at first: 

But then smiles:

And now two boys having a blast... 

... reading the eye-chart with Gamma Rita.  

Even when my babies are sick, alphabets are always a hit.

Eventually the doctor showed up and even though he wasn't their regular doctor, he was great with the boys. They got some take-home tongue depressors (fun!) and hi-fives were handed out all around.

Diagnosis: Influenza. Tylenol for everyone to keep down the fever and antibiotics for Seth. Apparently his heart-murmur makes him more susceptible to a lung infection, which I didn't know until yesterday. I will say he certainly seems a lot sicker than his brother, but that might be due to Seth catching the flu cooties sooner. Either way, I hope they are both on the mend soon and that the rest of us get a pass on getting sick.

So far, so good. Fingers crossed and all that.

- L.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1 Year Later: My Ordinary Day

I am currently swamped with a backlog of photos and videos and stories about the boys, but as I sat at my computer last night contemplating which to choose to post about I realized I had a perfect post for today already waiting.

It was never my intention to wait an entire year to blog about the perfectly ordinary day we had last year on my birthday, but it's funny how things work out sometimes. Here we are, a year later and this may be a better post than it would have been at the time for the hindsight in it. Also, looking through all the photos was a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday eve.

Without further ado, my ordinary (birth)day one year ago...

I took this picture within minutes of waking up (which was at a very reasonable 7:45 AM). I couldn't have asked for better weather that day.

Of course, beautiful weather couldn't top this: 

Or this:

My boys are still pretty happy guys when they wake up, but back then they were especially full of giggles. 

I got everyone set up in Seth's crib with some toys for a bit of pre-breakfast playtime while I went to start the first of four loads of laundry that needed to get done that day:

In case you're thinking I really let the laundry pile up, four loads is a perfectly ordinary amount of laundry when you have 2 babies.


Once I had the machines fired up, I went back to check in on everyone...

... and discovered Seth without pants. At the time this was a pretty spectacular thing, but a year later I can safely say this is also a perfectly ordinary event. 

When one has a perpetual case of the skinny like Seth, pants can be a bit of a challenge after all.

The boys had their morning bottles and it was off for playtime in the living room where the boys raided the bookshelves, wreaked havoc and generally had a good time:

I eventually wrangled everyone back to the nursery without too much incident and we had our morning story time:

Then it was time for lunch:

Yes, we were all still in our pajamas at this point, and yes, this was perfectly ordinary. 

The boys ate four bowls of mushy-mash, which a year later looks sort of funny since they have long since been eating whatever I'm eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but this was then. So mushy-mash it was.

Apparently they ate fork-mashed bananas, carrots that look like ketchup for some reason, sweet potatoes and garden veggies (which was mainly sweet potatoes with some lumpy extras like green beans). We used one spoon per bowl since the boys shared a spoon at the time and I optimistically laid out one cloth for clean-up. Obviously this is a bit of fakery since ordinarily I would have needed at least 6 of those cloths at any given meal. ;)

I made myself a fancy sandwich which was most certainly not ordinary at the time:

What was ordinary however is that I made my lunch after the boys were down for their nap since there was no way to eat while spoon-feeding everyone else back then. 

A side note: Although I always waited until the boys were napping to make my lunch, I used to make really crappy lunches for myself – mostly because I was in a hurry to eat. Something I learned a year ago today:

It really doesn't take much longer to make yourself a nice lunch. A few minutes really.

Having nice lunches became ordinary around here because of my ordinary day. Funny, that.

Also ordinary – cleaning up the lunch mess and a day's worth of bottles: 

After the nap, we headed out for a walk to fetch a cake thanks to the nice weather:

Everyone looked a little suspicious for some reason. 

Suppertime pics which I took between supper and dessert:

Dessert at the time for my babies was Mum-Mum biscuits so bibs weren't really required. 

I, on the other hand, had cake: 

And one of my favorite pics from that day, because I can't look at it without hearing this: 

"Hey Mom – your cake's on fire!"

A quick tidy-up in the kitchen, followed by getting the boys ready for bed, followed by some pre-bed playtime. This time we raided the kitchen bookshelf: 

We also made what I considered at the time to be a "big mess" in the nursery:

I'm so glad I hadn't looked at these photos in almost a year because this one gave me a particularly big laugh. This looks downright orderly compared to the level of destruction we are capable of now, but at the time (even though this was quite ordinary) I really thought it was a big deal. 

I thought I was really going to show you all something.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Lastly we've come to the end of my ordinary day where I was as ordinarily exhausted as I always am at the end of all our ordinary days and as eager as I am on a perfectly ordinary basis to see this: 

My perfectly ordinary bed.

The end.

- L.

PS. There is likely a video coming later. I'll update here if/when it happens. : )